If you’re something of an aviation enthusiast, you may already know that of the 159 Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) 737s in service, only 23 are available for charter. These big planes aren’t all that easy to find for private flights, but Jet Edge International has just acquired two. The Los Angeles–based private-jet service now offers the BBJ—in a unique VIP configuration—as part of its fleet of 85 planes.
Based on the Boeing 737-700, the Jet Edge BBJ is not the same version as the currently grounded 737 Max type—which made headlines after two fatal crashes—and has different flight-control systems. And while not a new model of aircraft, the current generation is more eco-friendly. “This BBJ is 15 to 20 percent more efficient than its predecessors, consuming less fuel and producing lower emissions,” says Boeing spokesman Captain Alex Fecteau. Much of the reductions are due to the addition of alloy winglets (for improved airflow), carbon brakes (for weight reduction) and higher bypass ratio turbo fans (providing better thrust). “And [the jet] can certainly use biofuel without being modified,” notes Fecteau.
Adding to guest comfort levels is the best-in-class headroom: Cabin height reaches seven feet, almost a foot more than competitor Bombardier’s Global Express aircraft. Room to move extends in all directions, thanks to a fuselage that’s 80 feet long and 10 feet wide—roughly the length of three London buses set end to end and about one and a half feet wider.
The first jet delivered to the charter company boasts an interior that accommodates 16 passengers in club seats (which can lie flat) and is divided into three zones—each able to be made completely private. The forward two sections can double as boardrooms, while the area toward the back is intended for downtime, with a couch and furnishings that seat as many as six guests.
Enhancing both work and play are amenities that include two fully provisioned galleys and a private chef, high-speed internet, satellite phone service, iPads loaded with more than 1,000 movies, in-seat displays, video-streaming services and four large flat-screen TVs.
With a range of 7,215 miles, the jet is also suitable for overnight hauls and has sleeping berths for nine people complemented by three bathrooms, one within the master bedroom.
“This is optimized for both business and leisure travel,” says Jonah Adler, Jet Edge’s chief commercial and marketing officer. He says the company will add a second plane early this year (although not as of press time) that will be configured for entertaining in a lounge-like atmosphere that includes a bar and a theater.
The cost to charter most large aircraft usually ranges between $8,000 and $13,000 per hour, but this one’s hourly rate is $15,000. flyjetedge.com